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The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 13 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station

Diana Rigg and John Laurie

  The Stephen Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – a hit on Broadway in 1962, in 1966 a film directed by Dick Lester and featuring Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Buster Keaton in his final role – is the obvious inspiration for the title of this episode, A …

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The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 12 – The Superlative Seven

Charlotte Rampling and Diana Rigg

  Charlotte Rampling, Donald Sutherland and Brian Blessed are the standout names in The Superlative Seven, a title suggesting this episode is going to borrow heavily from The Magnificent Seven of seven years before. In fact it’s more a reworking of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, with a bit of Hunger Games thrown in (appropriately, …

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The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 10 – Never, Never Say Die

Diana Rigg, Patrick Macnee and Christopher Lee

  Christopher Lee! Christopher Lee of Dracula fame, intelligence operations during the Second World War, later a Bond villain, Saruman of Lord of the Rings and a heavy metal artist in his 90s, yes, that’s the man, lumbering about like Frankenstein’s monster (another role) the first time we see him, and shot from below, again …

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The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 6 – The Winged Avenger

Emma Peel in cartoon form being menaged by a giant bird

  The Winged Avenger, self-referentiality to one side, is a comic-book title and a comic-book episode – look at the framing throughout – and intriguingly suggests that The Avengers now has another genre reference point, having conclusively ditched noirish crime fiction as a motherlode even before Honor Blackman left the show at the end of series …

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The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 4 – The See-Through Man

Steed and Pell with chemistry apparatus

  After time travel in the previous week’s episode, Escape in Time, The Avengers’ augmented interest in sci-fi gets another workout in The See-Through Man, a plot all about invisibility and its dastardly uses.   Comedy is the overarching tone and self-parody the effect as first one person then another is killed by an invisible …

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